The Coastal Racing team of Scott Kiger, Mark Holz, RJ Anderson, Rob Utendorfer, Tyler King and Brian McLean raced to victory in the UTV Pro class at the 2013 Baja 1000.
In its first ever Baja 1000 appearance, the Coastal Racing team piloted its No. 1934 Polaris RZR XP 900 to the finish line in 27 hours, 16 minutes and 57 seconds – nearly 24 minutes quicker than the second place Jagged X team.
(Photo by Vincent Knakal / UTVUnderground.com)
The Jagged X/ Polaris team is cruising in the 2013 SCORE Baja championship. After winning the opening round at the 45th Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, the team earlier this year, the team followed it with a win at this past weekend’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
Jagged X/Polaris driver Matt Parks handled the San Felipe 250 driving duties on his own, but enlisted the help of teammate and Best in the Desert racer Brandon Scheuler for the Baja 500.
“Schueler has more UTV racing experience that anyone out there and I knew he would do a great job in Baja,” say Parks.
Photo courtesy Joey DiGiovanni // UTVUnderground.com
At long last, side-by-sides made their debut in the SCORE series as 13 units lined up at the start of the 2013 San Felipe 250. Jagged X’s Matt Parks and Jason Spiess took the checkered flag and were one of only two teams to finish the race.
The San Felipe 250 is notorious for being the roughest race in North America with endless whoops, deep silt and rocky sand washes. But after Parks did his pre-run, he knew that this would be a race of survival.
“The UTVs start dead last in SCORE races and after 240 vehicles had been through the course, it was unbelievably rough. So, we just decided to set a steady pace and take care of the car,” says Parks.
Best in the Desert’s Vegas to Reno race is the longest and toughest off-road desert race in the United States and it was dominated by Polaris RZR UTVs.
In the starting field of more than 20 side-by-sides for the 534-mile race, was Jagged X’s Brandon Schueler with co-pilot Cody Muir in the No. 1919 RZR XP 4 900; Jagged X’s Matt Parks, Jason Spiess and Landon Kobruck and the No. 1932 RZR XP 4 900; Jagged X’s Bill Schueler and Polaris Marketing and Sales Director Craig Scanlon in the almost-stock 1991 RZR XP 4 900; and Scott Kiger’s Holz Coastal Racing No. 1934 RZR XP driven by Kiger, Mark Holz and William Yokley.
When the dust settled, Coastal Racing would take its first Vegas to Reno win with the fastest time ever for a side-by-side in under 12 hours, and ahead of the trucks and cars. Thirty minutes later, Parks crossed the finish line second with the fastest second place finish for a side-by-side. Finishing fourth and driving the entire race himself, was Bill Schueler, with co-pilot Scanlon, and the almost-stock RZR XP 4. The No. 1991 has raced successfully all season and its fourth place finish in such a challenging race is a true testament to the ability of the RZR side-by-side vehicles. Unfortunately, five-time Vegas to Reno winner, Brandon Schueler, encountered a freak incident with the No. 1919 where a rock knocked off the oil sending unit for the oil pressure gauge and pumped oil out of the car leaving it unable to continue.
The Henderson 250 was the last race of the six-race Best in the Desert series, and the Pro UTV title was on the line. Four-time championship winner Jagged X led the series by a few points with Matt Parks right on its tail. The Transwest Ford Henderson 250 would be the deciding factor.
The race started before dawn with freezing temperatures and howling winds in Jean, Nev. The Jagged X crew was confident with the No. 1919, but in racing, nothing is ever a sure thing. By mile 14, they realized how something as small as a clogged fuel injector could change an entire season. Brandon Schueler managed to limp the No. 1919 into the second pit and after some diagnosis and a quick repair the car was back on the course at 100 percent. Even a few minutes lost in a short race like this is detrimental. Schueler was able to make up some time but in the end, was short of the finish the team had hoped for. When the dust cleared the Jagged X No. 1919 team ended the incredibly great season in the second overall position.
Matt Parks started the weekend seven points out of the lead in the Best In The Desert race series. He needed a win at the Bluewater Desert Challenge to remain in contention with only one more race on the schedule. The Challenge is a two-day event – three laps of the 25-mile desert course both Saturday and Sunday. Driving his “Baja Bobsled,” a custom 2-seat Polaris RZR 4 built by Holz Racing Products, Matt and his co-pilots, Jason Spiess (Saturday) and Mike Carr (Sunday), raced aggressively through the dust.
“The Kroyer built RZR 800 engine ran flawlessly both days,” says Matt. “It was really put to the test in the deep sand and silt.”
Parks finished second on Saturday, 1:35 behind the first-place UTV Pro – the Jagged X Ranger RZR XP 900. Like Saturday, the 15-UTV field started behind Jeep Speed and Baja Bug Classes. Jagged X had a strong start off the line and Parks chased him through the pack of Jeeps and Bugs that started ahead.
Best in the Desert’s Vegas to Reno race is the longest and toughest, off-road desert race in the U.S., and Polaris Ranger RZRs were out in full force. In the starting field of 14 for the 553-mile race, was the four-time defending champions, Jagged X in its No. 1919 Ranger RZR XP 900 and Polaris Regional Sales Manager, Matt Parks in his Holz Racing Ranger RZR 4 800.
When the dust settled, Jagged X would have their fifth consecutive Vegas to Reno win with Parks finishing second. With only five Side-by-Sides finishing, Ranger RZRs would sweep the podium with a Ranger RZR XP 900 also finishing third.
The Jagged X team dedicated most of its summer race break preparing and fine tuning the No. 1919 Ranger RZR XP 900 race car. The XP has performed well since its debut at the Silver State 300 in April, but the team has been working on small refinements and adjustments to make this machine the best it could be. Jagged X, with much help from Chad Riccio of CR Designs, stepped up its game on the support side of things with two completely equipped chase vehicles.
All this work combined with some great drivers and co-drivers paid off when the flag dropped early Friday morning. The No. 1919 driven By Brandon Schueler with Mike West in the navigation seat took no time to take their seventh starting spot to the front of the pack. By Pit 4, they found themselves chasing the always-consistent Polaris Ranger RZR 4 of Matt Parks, watching for any chance to get out front for some fresh air. The two Ranger RZRs swapped the lead several times in the first 350 miles with both teams being plagued by minor problems. With an elapsed time of 13 hours, 27 minutes and 42 seconds the Jagged X Ranger RZR XP 900 finished 52nd overall out of 99 car and truck finishers proving just how tough Polaris off-road vehicles are. The win moves Brandon Schueler into the points lead for the 2011 BITD championship series with two races left to go.